On Tuesday, 29 March 2022, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP (Treasurer of Australia) announced the Morrison Government’s 2022-23 Federal Budget, which included a record investment in Australia’s health system with a total commitment of $537 billion over the next four years.
As the national peak body for Australians living with a rare disease, Rare Voices Australia (RVA) attended the Department of Health’s Portfolio Briefing webinar presentation and Q&A with the Hon Greg Hunt MP (Minister for Health and Aged Care); the Hon Dr David Gillespie MP (Minister for Regional Health); the Hon David Coleman MP (Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention); and Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck (Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services). The session was facilitated by Dr Brendan Murphy, Secretary of the Department of Health.
RVA is currently reviewing the Budget in detail and what it may mean for Australians living with a rare disease. We will release a full statement shortly.
At an initial glance, key areas of the Federal Budget 2022-23 most relevant to the rare disease sector include:
- Ensuring telehealth remains a permanent part of Australia’s health system
- $4.6 billion over four years to drive improvements in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- $81.2 million to provide carrier screening for three rare genetic conditions (cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and fragile X syndrome), making Mackenzie’s Mission a permanent part of Australia’s health system
- $2.6 billion for the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and $3.7 billion for the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
- $28.1 million to commence work to establish Genomics Australia to support the implementation of genomics as a standard of healthcare in Australia
- New listings on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the treatment of cystic fibrosis and SMA in children less than nine-months old with type 1 SMA or pre-symptomatic patients with 1-2 copies of the SMN2 gene
- $648.6 million for Stage 2 of the Government’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Reform Plan